July 25, 2016

Partly sunny

Montville police chief leading drive to buy golf course

MONTVILLE TWP. — Police Chief Terry Grice is heading up the effort to raise the $500,000 the township needs to buy the former Blue Heron golf course.

Trustees voted May 29 to enter into a five-year lease-purchase agreement with Medina-based C&C of Ohio LLC to buy the 252-acre property for use as a public park..

“The township is committed to purchasing the property,” said Trina Devanney, attorney for the township. “I think it’s a very good deal for the township.”

The agreement calls for an initial payment this summer of $132,000 for four of the 20 parcels.

The township plans to lease the remaining parcels while seeking grants to pay for the purchase.

Devanney said the initial outlay can be used as matching funds “for the grants we’re applying for.”

The township already has applied for a $400,000 grant through the Clean Ohio Fund,

Grice said the application was filed last Friday.

“It is a very competitive process,” he said. “If we don’t succeed in this round we are hopeful we will succeed in upcoming applications.”

Grice said that he is also looking at other foundations and grants will help with things other than the purchase, such as maintenance.

Assistant Zoning Director Paul Jeffers said the township will likely find out if won the Clean Ohio grant by June 14.

“We are trying the best we can to not cost the taxpayers a dollar,” he said.

The trustees have said the agreement with C&C of Ohio will cost the township about $250,000 less than they originally anticipated in January when the proposal for the park was announced.

The golf course has more than 7 ½ miles of ADA approved all-purpose trails and large undisturbed native woodlands.

It would be Montville’s third public park.

C&C plans on reopening the closed River Styx Grill and transforming the golf pro shop into offices while retaining the banquet hall for business conferences.

The Blue Heron golf course opened in 2005 but closed in November 2012 after running into financial problems.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.

Andrew Davis About Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis covered Medina city government for The Gazette from January 2014 to May 2015. Contact The Gazette's news department at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.